Source: Society for Human Resource Management
By Allen Smith
Now that same-sex couples can marry across the land, some employers are dropping benefits coverage for domestic partners. Employers should give notice if they decide to drop the benefits and must avoid discrimination claims either way, attorneys say.
Verizon, Delta, IBM and Corning have either stopped, or announced they will stop, offering domestic-partner benefits, according to The New York Times.
Nevertheless, noted Bruce Elliott, SHRM-SCP, the Society for Human Resource Management’s manager of compensation and benefits, “I don’t see elimination of partner benefits as part of a larger trend.”
Summer Conley, an attorney with Drinker Biddle in Los Angeles, agreed, saying her clients are not dropping domestic-partner benefits.
However, others see employers dropping coverage as a likely outcome.
Joni Andrioff, an attorney with Steptoe & Johnson in Chicago, said it seems likely to her “that eventually employers will want to treat all married and unmarried participants alike, regardless of sex, and will do away with domestic-partner benefits.”